Wednesday, August 26, 2020

Pointing is Okay



When I was growing up, it was considered impolite to point at someone.  The crime of pointing could prompt a parental slap to the offender's hand. 

 

Pointing can draw attention to someone or something and usually, this type of attention is unwelcomed.   


In the Philippines, where we served as missionaries for 14 years, pointing was done with your lips and was an acceptable means of giving direction or drawing attention to a person or object.  Lip pointing is nearly effortless and far more discreet compared to lifting your arm and pointing your finger.  


In the New Testament book of John, we have a person doing some definite finger-pointing, but this kind of pointing is okay.   In John 1:29, John the Baptist is pointing people to Jesus.


The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him and said, 

“Look, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!”


John was a pointer.  

  • He was pointing people to the one and only way to redemption.   
  • He was pointing people to the truth.
  • He was pointing people to eternal life through the Lamb of God.


How long has it been since you pointed someone to Christ?


Pointing is Okay.

 




Wednesday, August 19, 2020

Words, Words, Words


When I was in high school, there were times I had to give speeches on topics that did not interest me, but when I'm asked to speak about something dear to me like; my family, the Lord, my books, I have no problem rambling on and on.  I could talk all day about this kid or that kid or this grandchild or that grandchild, how and where I wrote my books or the amazing God of Love I serve.


I could take as much of your time as you're willing to give me to let my heart bubble over with words, words, words about the things that are near and dear to me.

Why?

Because these are things that I treasure in my heart.

However, I've learned that my heart is a very big place.  There is room for tons of stuff in there. 

In my many years of life, I've tried to keep a tight reign on the words that spill out of my mouth, but there have been plenty of occasions where I've spoken, and I know my words revealed more about the real me than I wanted others to know.

There is a scripture in Luke 6:45 that speaks to this very thing.

A good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and an evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart. For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of.

Our words have a way of revealing the very things that are in our hearts.  With the 24-hour news availability and social media scrolling, it doesn't take long to fill one's heart with a whole bunch of sour garbage.  


Then we in turn allow that negativity to fester and ferment in our hearts.  That's when the words, words, words can spill out and the mouth will speak what the heart is full of.


Even those who are the best secret keepers won't be able to hide the Words, Words, Words that are in their hearts.  


Once you let evil into your heart, it's gonna spill out.  It's best not to let the garbage in at all.


Proverbs 4:23 says it best;  Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.

 

Like; Words, Words, Words

 

 

 

 

Wednesday, August 12, 2020

Spiritual Cruisers


I love to cruise.  I think I've been on at least 10 different cruises.  If you've never been on a cruise, I'd love to tell you all about it.  

People are waiting to serve you all day long.  It's amazing!

Your bed is made, your bathroom is cleaned, your garbage is removed from your room, your supplies are replenished, your food is prepared, the whole cruise ship is maintained and kept clean just for you, even your bed is turned down each night.  They even provide entertainment and learning opportunities.

It's a good life.

Cruising is the average person's opportunity to be served and pampered while you sit back and enjoy the ride.  

It's a lifestyle that this girl adjusts to flawlessly while cruising.  

The idea that the whole world is here to serve me is obviously crazy, but when I'm on a cruise, it certainly seems that way.

When Believers move that cruise mentality into the church and get the idea that others are here only to serve us, that's where the problem lies.  

You may be a "Spiritual Cruiser" if you've had some of these thoughts.

  • Why didn't anyone greet me today?  This isn't a very friendly church.  
  • Or when we see the children's pastor approaching with a smile, and think she better not ask me to help in the nursery.  My kids are all grown.  I've had my turn.
  • Or the youth pastor is always an easy target when our children are struggling spiritually.  He's the first person to blame when they don't want to go to church.  He should have shown more interest in them.  
  • Or when we're stuck at home during a pandemic and say, "No one has called me to check on me.  I don't think they care about me on this cruise.  I mean at this church."  (That's a lot of 'ME's'.) 

Spiritual cruiser beware!  

An air of church entitlement will rob you of spiritual blessings.

In Mark 10:45 (LEB), Jesus gives us His take on spiritual entitlement.

"For even the Son of Man did not come 
to be served, but to serve,
and to give his life as a ransom for many.”

Don't be a spiritual cruiser, expecting to be served by others, but be like Christ and serve others.  

I have heard my husband say many times, "We are never more like Christ than when we are serving others."   


Wednesday, August 5, 2020

...and FIRE!



My salvation testimony isn't the kind that causes people to shake their head in amazement at how far in the depths of sin I was lost, then Jesus found me, rescued me, set my feet on firm ground, and from that point on I followed a straight path.
Nope!  My testimony is of a different nature.  I was seven years old when I bowed my knees at an altar on a Wednesday night at kid’s camp.  When I think of my salvation story, this is my go-to place.   

Do you remember your salvation day?

After that day, I didn't want any other life.  I was firm in my faith to follow Christ even at the young age of seven.  I'm not saying I never sinned again, because if you know me at all, then you know that's not true, yet I reached up and placed my hand on the plow, and I didn't look back.

Then when I was 14, there was another big event in my life, I made the decision to be baptized in water.  It seemed the natural step to make this public announcement that I was a Christ Follower.  

It was a Sunday night service at my home church in front of a crowd of supporting and loving people, but when I stepped into that water, I was scared.   I was making a public statement to the universe.  I wasn't afraid of my decision, but to be in front of people was daunting.   

My childhood pastor prayed over me, down I went, and up I came out of the water.  The relief was real.  I had followed the commandment of the Lord, and I was glad I did.  

Have you followed the Lord's command to be baptized in water?

My next step was taking communion.  In my family, this was held in high esteem.  It was not allowed until after water baptism.  I felt the seriousness of my decision when I took communion for the first time at fourteen.  I prayed and examined my heart.  I didn't want to eat that bread or drink from that cup with sin in my heart towards anyone.

It seemed at the young age of fourteen, I had met the spiritual expectations of my family.  Except, I was missing one thing--the Baptism in the Holy Spirit with the evidence of speaking in tongues. 

The Baptism in the Holy Spirit was a distinctive part of my upbringing.  I was taught, and I believed it was a gift that God made available to me. If God intended it for me, I wanted it.    

After praying on a few different occasions, it happened.  It was real. I freely accepted this gift given by the Lord.  

What happened to me was a promise foretold by John the Baptist in Matthew 3:1 (NET).  

“I baptize you with water, for repentance, but the one coming after me is more powerful than I am—I am not worthy to carry his sandals! He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire."

There was a question asked in the book of Acts (19:2) following the outpouring of the Holy Spirit on the Day of Pentecost that said, "Have you received the Holy Ghost since you believed?"

Have you?

If you haven't received it, it's for you.  

...And Fire!




The Face Mask

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